So here’s the list from my Singapore trip (let’s see if my memory can replay all the happenings in these past 5 days).
Friday: My brother had to go to Tanjong Pagar for business purposes. Po and I tagged along and went to an office’s basement cafeteria for some fried rice and soy bean milk. Then we went to airport to meet with my brother’s co-worker to pick up some documents and afterward headed to VivoCity, the biggest shopping mall in Singapore.
We bought some design books from Page One Bookstore and ate full-course dinner (abalone, cereal prawns, chili crab, double-boiled lobster, and mango dessert) at No Signboard Seafood Restaurant. The dishes were quite good but one thing for sure, the restaurant should turn down their AC since the cold air made the dishes cold so fast. The rest of the evening we spent in Resorts World Sentosa, but we were so jet-lagged that we decided to go back to the hotel early and crash.
Saturday: This past Saturday morning, the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) Red Line actually stalled. Public transportation is key in Singapore. There is no room for technical failure. Without one of the main MRT lines working, the city was in total chaos. Even trying to catch a cab became a worthless endeavor. We had to call our friend to pick us up.
Our Saturday journey started in Chinatown with breakfast at a local porridge vendor. I ate claypot frog porridge and raw fish at Tiong Shian Porridge Centre. The raw fish was superb.
Then we went to Tintin Shop (a shop that sells collectibles of the famous Belgian cartoon character, Tintin) near Chinatown MRT station. I used to read The Adventures of Tintin when I was younger. I also went to the Chinese Heritage Center. The Heritage Center was a bit pricey but it definitely worth S$10.- All the sets inside were meticulously staged that I felt like I was in a time machine, taken to the past. It reminded me of the Tenement Museum in New York City.
The next stop was Tong Heng Confectionery, famous for their egg tarts and curry puffs. Yes, they were quite exquisite. Po loved the egg tarts and I heart the curry puffs. My brother opted out because he doesn’t like bread and pastries. He’s missing out for sure! Oh well, more for Po and I.
My brother was craving Japanese ramen so we went to Tonkotsu King inside the Orchid Hotel on Tanjong Pagar Road. There are many ramen shops in Singapore but this one is definitely one of the best ones in town. The broth was thick and flavorful, but not too heavy. The flavored eggs were perfectly cooked with the yolk having the right color and consistency, like a burnt orange play-do. The ramen place was pretty close to Chinatown. Po and I were kind of disappointed, not able to taste the well-known Hainanese chicken rice inside the Maxwell Food Center.
In the evening, we went to Marina Bay Sands to watch a Broadway show called “Wicked,” and we walked for quite a while around the modernly designed, upscale shopping mall. That was when I learned about the high tea culture in Singapore. Apparently, Singaporeans love to have tea time in the afternoon, around 3 pm. They would eat pastries, both Chinese and Western-style, and sip teas.
Lord’s Day: We went to a church meeting in Simei. It was an awesome time to get to know other Christians in Singapore. That morning our fellowship was on the crucial elements of the Bible: Christ, the Spirit, life, and the church. I will have to share my notes with you on those another time.
We then spent the rest of the day around the super crowded Orchard Road, sightseeing plus window shopping in the rain. We went to Food Republic for lunch. My brother doesn’t like Indian food so he bought this handmade noodles with beef chunks and the rest of us shared egg and onion roti prata along with a chicken biryani set menu.
Monday: We were meeting our old friend, Melanie, and her family at Takashimaya Shopping Center. The rain got her and her family stuck in traffic, in a taxi, for about an hour and a half. That ride fared up to S$40.- We had dinner together. I had a very memorable Chicken Herbal Soup there.
Tuesday: Finally the rain had stopped. We slept in because we were so tired from walking so much in the previous days. We started our day with lunch at Penang Road House Cafe. Their signature char kway teow, fried in chili sauce, was somewhat greasy yet extremely flavorful. My brother ordered a so-so Hokkian Prawn Mee, and Po was disappointed with her Assam Laksa since she was not expecting it to be so sour.
We then headed to the Asian Civilizations Museum, located near the famous Fullerton Hotel by the riverfront. It was a great day to walk around the riverfront. We even walked to the Merlion Park and the Esplanade – Theaters at the Bay. They were showing some free big band performance outdoor.
The dinner spot for the day was Makansutra Gluttons Bay. It was basically a food court with some exceptionally tasty choice of hawker food. My brother fell in love with this Chinese pig’s belly dish, while Po loved the mutton roti john. I opted for the brilliantly flavored chicken drummettes on Singaporean-style mee goreng. Both of my siblings agreed that this dinner was their best dinner so far in Singapore.
To end the evening, we went up to the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel. Singapore’s night cityscape, in a clear weather, was definitely memorable.